Friday, October 9, 2015

Summer Recap: Wisconsin Soldiers Home & Veterans Cemetery

Way back in May, well before Memorial Day Weekend, I made a conscious effort to visit one of Milwaukee's most treasured landmarks for the very first time.  Not sure about its location (or parking for that matter), I always avoided going to the Wisconsin Soldiers Home, which is located on the VA Medical Center Grounds off of I-94 behind Miller Park.  But this is a historic area not to be missed for any Milwaukee visitor.  Built shortly after the Civil War, the grounds were used for over a century to care for Wisconsin's wounded soldiers home from the battlefields of, not just the Civil War, but both World Wars and the wars in Korea and Vietnam.  It also contained a tuberculosis hospital on its grounds in the 1920's as well as many other residential and recreational buildings.

Many of the grounds' remaining buildings were built between 1901 and 1917.  The grounds contain a towering main building (above/below), a library, a chapel, a recreation center, and a theater.

Unfortunately, many of the buildings on the grounds are in a very bad state of disrepair.  Fortunately, remodeling has begun on some of these buildings.  So, it was kind of hard to get super photos of the buildings since a lot of them had fencing around them.

Besides the Wisconsin Soldiers Home, the grounds house Milwaukee's veterans' cemetery.  One photo could not do the cemetery justice due to its vast expanse.

In this last photo, I decided to get a little creative.  I had just read a piece online about finding contrast in subjects.  So when I spotted this one grave marker where the writing was in black amongst all of the other carved writing, I knew it would make a good photo.

You can help save the Wisconsin Soldiers Home by visiting Save the Soldiers Home.  For more information, including a full history of the Soldiers Home, click here.

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